Betandwin Launches Live Betting Product in Austria, Germany Is Next

21 February 2005

Austria-based Betandwin Group last week announced the signing of an exclusive agreement to provide live wagering services to pay-TV network Premiere Austria. Premiere's Austrian subscribers can now wager on any soccer game live using Betandwin's mobile betting facilities.

Premiere, a wholly owned subsidiary of Premiere Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, is the first and only television company in Germany to broadcast its programs exclusively in digital mode. Now it has aspirations of becoming the world's No. 1 destination for sports betting, gaming and entertainment on the Internet.

The network went on the air in October 2002 with sports, movies family programs and adult entertainment.

It has carried live broadcasts of all matches in the T-Mobile Austrian League (the highest soccer league) and the Red Zac First League since the beginning of the 2004/05 football season. It also airs live matches from the German football league, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Cup and the "Erste Bank" ice-hockey league live.

The Austrian product will ultimately be a springboard for Premiere Germany and Betandwin to launch a similar service in Germany, where Betandwin already has a betting license. The German product is expected to launch next month.

"This combination of live sports and mobile live betting is an unique entertainment product with tremendous growth potential," Betandwin Co-CEO Manfred Bodner explained. "Following our Austrian launch, we intend to introduce this form of betting to other countries, too."

Premiere Austria had 228,000 subscribers in Austria at the end of 2004. In Germany, Premiere has 26 TV channels, 21 audio channels and over 3 million subscribers. (Austria's population is 8 million; Germany's is 83 million.)

German Premiere Sport has two sports channels, and its main feature is its live sports offering. It broadcasts some 4,000 hours live and offers the most comprehensive sports coverage on German television, including: all German football league games and the UEFA Champions League, both individually and as part of a conference link-up; German second-league football; all Formula One races; international football (several European leagues and the qualification games for the 2006 World Cup in Germany); ice hockey; American sports; boxing and fighting sports; and golf.

The 24-hour Premiere Sport 1 and Premiere Sport 2 combination features parallel live sports and a complementary replay concept. The so-called multi-feed option adds a dynamic element to the programs on both channels, enabling viewers to experience several camera angles during Formula One races and watch either individual games or select the conference link-up during German football league and UEFA Champions League matches. Another option is the original commentary, enhancing the fascination of American sports, golf or international football matches.

Betandwin operates under licenses issued in Austria, Germany the United Kingdom and Gibraltar. Its subsidiaries and affiliated companies offer sports betting, casino games, soft games and person-to-person applications via Internet and mobile telephone. Interactive Entertainment AG has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since March 2000.

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.